HMS Bertarelli Rare Cancers Fund RFA

February 26, 2020

A message from George Q. Daley to DF/HCC members:

Dear DF/HCC Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Bertarelli Rare Cancers Fund, available through a generous gift to HMS from the Bertarelli Foundation.

The fund aims to support research that advances our capacity to prevent, treat and cure cancer, with a focus on rarely occurring cancers. Research projects will focus on the identification of underlying core pathways critical for tumor proliferation and survival, including investigations of genetic and epigenetic alterations that drive these cancer phenotypes as well as tumor dependencies that will lead to the identification of therapeutic strategies.

Specific areas of focus will include: the biology of clear cell odontogenic carcinoma and related rare cancers, therapeutic optimization for these cancer types, identification of predictive biomarkers for these rare cancers, and individualized risk prediction for patients with these rare cancers. Preference will be given to research associated with these rare cancers.

All faculty at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor and full professor at HMS or its affiliated hospitals or institutes will be eligible to apply for funding as lead PI. Up to six research projects will be funded with up to $500,000 total costs per project per year for three years, for a potential three-year total of up to $1.5 million total costs per project. Collaborative teams will be encouraged, but not required.

Letters of intent are due March 17, 2020. Selected PIs will then be invited to prepare full proposals. More information on the RFP and submission process may be found online here. For questions about the RFP review and selection process, contact

I encourage you to consider submitting a letter of intent to this exciting new program. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


George Q. Daley, MD, PhD
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University
Member, DF/HCC Cancer Genetics and Leukemia Programs